Common Crossbill Loxia curvirostra ©Robin Chittenden Website

The recording area of Norfolk (areas 27 & 28 in the Watsonian system) is co-terminus with the ceremonial county of Norfolk; a large county in East Anglia in the east of England. It borders Lincolnshire to the west and northwest, Cambridgeshire to the west and southwest, and Suffolk to the south. Its northern and eastern boundaries are the North Sea and, to the northwest, The Wash. The county town is Norwich, which is the largest settlement followed by King’s Lynn in the northwest, Great Yarmouth on the east coast and Thetford in the south. With an area of over 2000 square miles and a population of 850,000 people, Norfolk is a largely rural county.

The west of Norfolk is part of the Fens, an extremely flat former marsh. The centre of the county is gently undulating lowland; its northern coast is an area of outstanding natural beauty, and in the south is part of Thetford Forest. In the east are the Broads, a network of rivers and lakes which extend into Suffolk. The area is now the Broads National Park. The geology of the county includes clay and chalk deposits, which make its coast susceptible to erosion. Much of Norfolk’s fairly flat and fertile land has been drained for use as arable land. The principal arable crops are sugar beet, wheat, barley (for brewing) and oil seed rape and 20% of those in employment work in farming and the food industry. Fishing and Tourism are also important.

Birding Norfolk

Norfolk is renowned as probably the best all round county for birding in the UK. This is based mostly on its reserves and other protected areas because the farmland is some of the most intensively used around. Nevertheless, Corn Buntings, Yellowhammers and other finches and buntings can be found, often flocking in winter to glean spilt seeds and newly ploughed fields. Keepered estates can be a mixed blessing, some gamebird feed stations favouring passerines, while some ignorant land managers allow illegal shooting and trapping of raptors.

Sticking out into the North Sea it is well placed to receive more than its fair share of migrants in season. These can turn up anywhere, but mainly along the coast. Areas with isolated bushes or other cover provide the best chance of seeing passerines. One in particular, Blakeney Point, has a long history of mega rarities. Now a few Arctic Terns breed there. Seawatching is good at Cley Coastguards and Sheringham.

The View of North Foreland Woods & NWT Cley Marshes taken from Walsey Hills NOA Reserve ©Chris Lotz

The Broads network of rivers and lakes in the east of the county, extend south into Suffolk. The Broads and other wetland areas have many breeding birds that are scarce or missing in other parts of the country such as Bittern, Marsh Harriers, Bearded Tits, and Avocets. For many years it was the only place to have breeding Cranes. Winter brings very large flocks of pink-footed and Brent geese and the only regular bean geese, along with spectacular gatherings of knot and other waders in the Wash.

In the south, straddling the Suffolk border, Thetford Forest is dominated by managed conifer plantation with clear-felled areas and is home to Goshawks, Crossbills, Tree Pipits and Woodlarks. Santon Downham still has a few pairs of lesser-spotted Woodpeckers. Also in the south is Breckland – this was heath that was cultivated and then allowed to revert back to heathland; it is a stronghold for Stone Curlew.

Titchwell RSPB Reserve ©Chris Lotz

Its location also makes it one of the top counties for rarities which turn up in Autumn and Spring and bring even more birders to the coast. The well-watched reserves along the coast at Holme, Titchwell, Cley and so forth, have more than their share of rarities and scarce birds. However, Norfolk is also a great county for birds that are under pressure in many other parts of the UK such as Barn Owls; as its narrow lanes and vast agricultural areas keep road casualties to a minimum. Some of the best-known sites appear below.

This page is sponsored by Birding Ecotourss

Top Sites
  • Cley - Blakeney Point

    Satellite View
    The NWT reserve at Cley is similar to Titchwell with a number of hides overlooking scrapes that attract if anything an even greater range of waders. Nearby habitats include heath land with nightjars and nightingales, salt marsh east and west, and the shingle bank with scrub particularly at Salthouse just east of Cley attracts recently arrived migrants and in winter snow buntings. Walking west from Cley you move onto the National Trust reserve of Blakeney point. This is a shingle spit 3½ miles long with low cover that can hold freshly arrived migrants for a day or two. At the point itself there is a colony of several thousand sandwich, common and little terns.
  • Great Yarmouth - Breydon Water

    Satellite View
    Amongst the urban desert of Great Yarmouth the cemetery can hold very high densities of migrants, red-flanked bluetail and little bunting have both been recorded. Try north and south of the road. The beach particularly between the two piers regularly holds 10+ Mediterranean gulls. Breydon water is a large landlocked estuary that has 1000s of waders (lapwings, golden plovers, black tailed godwits) in winter, and attracts some rarities, but views onto the mud are always distant. Paths run all the way along either side and Berney Arms, an RSPB reserve of flooded grazing marsh, is at the south west corner.
  • Hickling

    WebpageSatellite View
    This broad is surrounded by very extensive reed beds and is owned by NWT and English Nature. The access from the south is along the Weavers Way footpath. The north side is the NWT reserve. Most reed bed birds can be seen including occasionally bittern. Smew are regular in winter. Swallowtail butterflies for the bugmen.
  • Holme

    WebpageSatellite View
    This NWT and NOA reserve consists of coastal dunes, scrub, a few pines, and several small scrapes with hides. For birders the main attraction is its potential for migrants e.g. bluethroats and Rüppel's warbler.
  • Kelling

    Satellite View
    Kelling is located just to the east of Salthouse. The Quags is an NOA reserve and is an area of freshwater marsh and flooded pools. It is good for wildfowl and waders and also gets the occasional Bittern. The scrubby areas are good for migrants during passage. Inland, Kelling Heath is a good area for Woodlark and occasionally gets Nightjar and Nightingale.
  • Lyndford Arboretum

    WebpageSatellite View
    Hawfinches can occur here in winter but they do tend to move around from year to year.
  • Santon Downham

    WebpageSatellite View
    This gives access to pine plantations where woodlark and crossbill occur.
  • Sheringham

    Satellite View
    The shelter on the sea front here provides probably the best sea watching in Norfolk after strong northerly or north-westerly storms in late summer or early autumn. Other sites in the UK are probably better but this is one of the only ones where the sun is always behind you. The 4 skuas, Manx, sooty and Mediterranean shearwater, 4 grebes, and both petrels are all easily possible.
  • Snettisham RSPB

    WebpageSatellite View
    This RSPB reserve gives access to several pits which as well as attracting wintering wildfowl are the high tide roost site for very large numbers of knot and bar tailed godwits from the wash. Follow signs from A149 onto Beach Road, from here follow brown tourist signs into new RSPB car park. From here a path takes you alongside one of the old gravel diggings and up onto the edge of The Wash, continue south until you reach the Rotary Hide. There is a circular walk around the four hides from here. To get the most out of a visit to this reserve you should come on a big high tide. Colour coded Birdwatchers Tide Tables are produced each October by the RSPB, these also contain information on the best conditions to witness the spectacular midwinter dawn fight of tens of thousands of pink footed geese. To get a copy of these tide tables. send a SAE and two first class stamps to RSPB, 43 Lynn Road, Snettisham, PE31 7LR Disabled Access Please send A4 SAE to RSPB, 43, Lynn Road, Snettisham, Norfolk PE31 7LR. They will send a permit (valid for 3 months) and directions to drive through chalets and along the sea wall to a parking area close to first hide. Wheelchair path between first and second hide and wheelchair bays in both hides…
  • Strumpshaw Fen

    WebpageSatellite View
    Another all round reserve for Broadland birds, is Strumpshaw which was once the Norfolk stronghold of Cetti's warblers, now they are throughout the broads and in a few coastal sites. Nearby Buckenham and Cantley level crossing are the places to see the bean geese in winter.
  • Titchwell

    WebpageSatellite View
    The RSPB's most visited reserve the wide range of habitats within a relatively short walk of the car park make this an excellent spot to experience the magic of birding the north Norfolk coast. The scrub woodland is good for bullfinch and several species of warbler, the feeders by the visitor centre attract great spotted woodpeckers. In the summer the reedbed supports important numbers of bearded tits and marsh harriers as well as many reed and sedge warblers. The freshwater and brackish lagoons are home to about 30 pairs of avocets. They are also an excellent spot for passage and wintering waders and wildfowl. The foreshore in winter is a good place to look for twite, snow bunting and in some years shorelark. Offshore in summer terns can be watched fishing and in winter look for slavonian grebes, divers and scoter.
  • Waxham - Winterton

    Satellite View
    This stretch of coast is mainly dunes with some heath at Winterton. It attracts good numbers of migrants especially passerines, and Winterton is good for migrant raptors (for the UK this means a few a day). In Winter the area has regular rough-legged buzzards. The only roads that have public access to the area are the ones that are indicated above. Tracks and paths then lead along the coast from these. The ones on the inland side of the dunes are the ones to concentrate on.
  • Weeting

    WebpageSatellite View
    This small wardened NWT reserve is the place to see stone curlews, from early spring onwards.
  • Wells / Holkham

    Satellite View
    The 3 miles of Corsican pines planted on the dunes, particularly at the eastern end at Wells where there is some deciduous scrub are a magnet for passerine migrants. Unfortunately this much cover provides plenty of opportunities for it to disappear, witness the red breasted nuthatch of about a decade ago which literally 1000s of birders took hours to relocate each time it disappeared. This is probably the best place to find yourself a Pallas's or yellow-browed warbler in autumn. The grazing marsh and scrapes that can be seen from the western end of the pines have recently been renovated. Winter brings pink footed and Brent geese here as to most of the rest of the coast. Also the dunes/salt marsh between the pines and the sea usually hold shore larks, snow buntings and twite. Holkham Bay is one of the best places for scarce winter seabirds such as grebes and different scoter species.
  • Welney

    WebpageSatellite View
    Like all WWT reserves this has a little of the feel of a zoo about it. They do not breed wildfowl here but the feeding in front of the main hide produces a rather unnatural spectacle. The variety and numbers of wildfowl found here in winter are spectacular, the recent canvasback being a highlight.
  • Paul Burrows


  • Steve Rowland

    Additional Material |

County Recorder
Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 484

  • The Norfolk Bird List

    Checklist PDF
    The Norfolk list is one of the biggest county lists in the country, it is made up of resident birds, winter visitors, passage migrants, breeding visitors, scarce and rare migrants and an enviable number of extreme vagrants...
Useful Reading

  • Best Birdwatching Sites: Norfolk

    | By Neil Glenn | Buckingham Press | 2013 | Paperback | 273 pages, b/w illustrations, colour maps, tables | ISBN: 9780956987648 Buy this book from
  • Birds New to Norfolk

    | (The Account of their Discovery and Identification) | By Keith Dye, Mick Fiszer & Peter Allard | Wren Publishing | 2009 | Hardback | 412 pages, 16pp colour plates, b/w illustrations | Out of Print | ISBN: 9780954254537 Buy this book from
  • Birds in Norfolk

    | (A National and International Perspective) | By Andy Brown & James McCallum | Langford Press | 2016 | Hardback | 277 pages, colour illustrations, tables | Out of Print | ISBN: 9781904078319 Buy this book from
  • Birds of the Yare Valley

    | (A site guide) | by David Bryant | Heathland Books | 2017 | 98 Pages | ISBN: 9781999741709 Buy this book from
  • DVD Guide to Birdwatching in Norfolk

    | By Paul Doherty | Bird Images Video Guides | 2008 | DVD | Runtime: 127 min | ISBN: 5065000721107 Buy this book from
  • National Trail Guides: Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path

    | By Bruce Robinson, Mike Robinson & Tim Lidstone-Scott | Aurum Press | 2015 | Edition 4 | Paperback | 141 pages, colour photos, colour maps | ISBN: 9781781315019 Buy this book from
  • North Norfolk's Wildlife

    | (Discovering Its Birds and Natural History) | By Andrew Bloomfield & Gary Smith | Red String Publishing | 2009 | Hardback | 144 pages, 154 colour photos, 1 colour map | Out of Print | ISBN: 9780952245919 Buy this book from
  • Robert Gillmor's Norfolk Bird Sketches

    | By Robert Gillmor | Red Hare Publishing | 2014 | Paperback | 64 pages, 2 colour photos, 100+ colour & b/w illustrations | ISBN: 9781910001035 Buy this book from
  • The Birds of Norfolk

    | By Moss Taylor, Michael Seago, Peter Allard & Don Dorling | Christopher Helm | 2007 | Hardback | 552 pages, B/w illus, figs, tabs, col photos | ISBN: 9780713687330 Buy this book from
  • The Norfolk Bird Atlas: Summer and Winter Distributions 1999-2007

    | By Moss Taylor & John H Marchant | British Trust for Ornithology | 2011 | Hardback | 528 pages, Colour photos, distribution maps, tables | ISBN: 9781906204822 Buy this book from
  • The Norfolk Cranes' Story

    | By John Buxton, Chris Durdin & Nick Upton | Wren Publishing | 2019 | Paperback | 143 pages, 65 colour & 6 b/w photos, 3 colour illustrations | ISBN: 9781999838652 Buy this book from
  • The North Norfolk Coast

    | (A New Birder's Guide) | By Ken Lawson | WildSounds | 2010 | DVD | Runtime: 114 min, aspect ratio: 16:9 | Out of Print | ISBN: 9781898665236 Buy this book from
  • Where to Watch Birds in East Anglia

    | (Cambridgeshire, Norfolk & Suffolk) | By David Callahan | Bloomsbury | 2020 | Edition: 5 | Paperback | 366 pages, b/w illustrations, b/w maps | ISBN: 9781472962225 Buy this book from
  • BTO - British Trust for Ornithology

    Looking out for birds? Share your interest in birds with others by being part of the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO). Volunteer surveyors, members and staff work in partnership to provide unbiased information about birds and their habitats. Join or volunteer today and make birds count.
  • Broads Authority

    The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads is a unique area of water, grazing marshes, fen and woodland, and home to some of the rarest plants and creatures in the UK. It is Britain`s largest protected wetland, having similar status to a national park. The Broads Authority was set up in 1989 to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the Broads, promote the enjoyment of the Broads and protect the interests of navigation.
  • Cley Bird Club

    The Cley Bird Club (CBC) exists to bring together everybody who has an interest in the Birds of the Cley area in North Norfolk, UK.
  • NWT Breckland Local Group

    The Breckland Local Group has now been reformed for 6 years, and we continue to be very well supported, for which we are very grateful, but we could always welcome more. We have a new and enthusiastic committee, who will be actively promoting the wildlife of the region.
  • NWT Broadland Local Group

    On behalf of the Broadland local members group it is my pleasure to welcome you to our part of the NWT local members website. We were founded in May 1978 and are an active and friendly group who are fortunate enough to live within reach of the famous Norfolk Broads where we have access to some of the NWT's best known nature reserves and the iconic species of wildlife which live there.
  • NWT Mid Norfolk Local Group

    The pattern of our year is that from October to April, on the first Tuesday of each month, we hold an indoor meeting in Dereham. The topics and presentations vary, sometimes being quite specialised while at other times being of a more general nature.
  • NWT North Norfolk Local Group

    North Norfolk enjoys a wealth of wildlife habitats: a subtly varied coastline; heathlands, woods and diverse wet places. The region is renowned for its resident and migrant birds but the plant life is distinctive too, deriving from the recent geological history of glaciation.
  • NWT Norwich Local Group

    We are pleased to announce that The Norwich Local Group has reformed. Your new committee was elected in July 2022 and are now planning a series of talks and other events to cover as wide a range of interests as possible.
  • NWT Wymondham Nature Group

    As Chair, I would like to welcome everyone to our local group. You do not need to be an expert on wildlife, just come and enjoy it. We hold nine illustrated talks a year on subjects covering all aspects of wildlife and wild places.
  • Nar Valley Ornithological Society

    Mailing Group
    Welcome to the Home Page of the Nar Valley Ornithological Society. Founded in 1976, the Nar Valley Ornithological Society (NarVOS) has been, and still is at the fore of bird watching and ornithological studies in mid Norfolk. We hope that you will find our site informative, and will want to return over and over again…
  • Norfolk & Norwich Naturalists Society

    Welcome to Norfolk’s oldest natural history organisation – dedicated to conserving the county’s wildlife since 1869. Why not join us? You don’t need to be an expert. We have plenty of members who are only too willing to share their knowledge and expertise and help you learn more about the natural world.
  • Norfolk Birds Records Committee

    The role of the Norfolk Records Committee is to present an accurate and reliable account of present day bird records in the county of Norfolk. These records will ultimately become part of the county’s historical archive and it is therefore essential that before sightings of many of the rarer species can be added to this archive, a formal description is required.
  • Norfolk Coast Partnership

    The Norfolk Coast was designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) in 1968. The Norfolk Coast Partnership was set up in 1992 to promote conservation and enhancement of the area's unique natural beauty; to facilitate and enhance public enjoyment, understanding and appreciation of the area's natural beauty; and to promote sustainable forms of social and economic development that in themselves conserve and enhance the area's natural beauty.
  • Norfolk Ornithologists Association

    The Norfolk Ornithologists' Association (NOA) is an independent Norfolk-based charity, dedicated to the scientific study of birds. It focuses primarily on bird migration and population dynamics through bird ringing and daily monitoring, and the information collected acts as an indicator of environmental health locally, nationally and internationally. All our work is funded by membership subscriptions, donations and permit sales.
  • Norfolk Wildlife Trust

    Norfolk Wildlife Trust is the oldest Wildlife Trust in the country. The purchase of 400 acres of marsh at Cley on the north Norfolk coast in 1926 to be held ‘in perpetuity as a bird breeding sanctuary’ provided a blueprint for nature conservation which has now been replicated across the UK.
  • North East Norfolk Bird Club

    NENBC is a recently created club, covering this beautiful and bird-rich corner of the county - serving the birding communities of Melton, Briston, Holt, Sheringham, Cromer, North Walsham and Aylsham.
  • Waveney Bird Club

    The friendly club for birdwatchers in Norfolk & Suffolk
  • Wensum Valley Birdwatching Society

    WVBS is an active and friendly Norfolk birdwatching society with approximately 100 members. Our indoor meetings are held on the Third Thursday of each month at 7.30p.m, and feature a guest speaker.

Abbreviations Key

  • * NNR Norfolk's National Nature Reserves

    WebpageSatellite View
    Natural England's website with listings of reserves, many managed by NWT
  • * Norfolk Wildlife Trust Reserves

    WebsiteSatellite View
    Norfolk has many reserves. Private individuals, including the Queen, at Sandringham, own some. Norfolk Wildlife Trust, the National Trust and English Nature manage the most. Many are concerned mainly with birds.
  • Accessible Reserves

    WebpageSatellite View
    Each of the following links lead to a BFA assessment of a Norfolk reserve. ALL types of mobility problem are assumed so there are details of path surfaces, gradients and distances as well as benches and hide details etc., etc.
  • LNR Cley Marshes

    WebpageSatellite View
    NWT Cley Marshes is Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s oldest and best known nature reserve. It was purchased in 1926 to be held 'in perpetuity as a bird breeding sanctuary'. It provided a blue print for nature conservation which has now been replicated across the UK. The water levels in the pools and reedbeds are regulated to ensure they are ideal for the resident birds, and reed is harvested every year to keep the reedbeds in good condition.
  • LNR Hickling Broad

    WebpageSatellite View
    Hickling Broad is located 23 kilometres north east of Norwich. It is part of the Upper Thurne Broads and Marshes Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), which includes Horsey Mere and Martham Broad. The international importance of this area has been recognised in its designation as a Broads Ramsar site.
  • LNR Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve

    WebsiteSatellite View
    Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve is a peaceful place, with a rich variety of wildlife in its woodland, fen and reed bed habitats. Located in the beautiful Wensum Valley, the reserve is nationally and internationally recognised as important for its wildlife.
  • NNR Holkham National Nature Reserve

    WebsiteSatellite View
    Holkham National Nature Reserve stretches from Burnham Norton to Blakeney and covers about 3,706 hectares. It is possible to explore most of the area by following footpaths from the main car parks. The core section of the reserve, from Wells to Holkham Bay, is crisscrossed by paths allowing access through the pine woodland.
  • NNR Winterton Dunes

    InformationSatellite View
    Main habitats: coastal sand dunes, dune heath and slacks, freshwater pools - These spectacular acidic dunes and heaths are internationally important for the rare groups of plants and animals which they support, in a habitat more common in northern Europe than England. Little terns and ringed plover nest in shallow scrapes on the sandy beach, nocturnal nightjars which use the heath to feed and breed can be heard ‘churring’ on warm summer evenings, and skylarks and stonechats are often seen or heard.
  • NWT Thorpe Marshes

    WebpageSatellite View
    Bordering the River Yare, Thorpe Marshes is one of the Trust’s more urban sites, located on the eastern fringe of Norwich. The site is a wonderful mixture of habitats: flower-rich marshes criss-crossed with dykes that are home to many dragonfly and damselfly species, including the rare Norfolk hawker, and the even larger emperor dragonfly. Several species of common butterfly can also be encountered on a good day.
  • NWT Weeting Heath

    WebpageSatellite View
    NWT Weeting Heath is the best site in the country to watch the rare and unusual stone curlew. The species requires open, stony ground with short vegetation to breed, making the close-cropped turf of Weeting an ideal site. This special Breckland habitat has to be specially managed to keep it so low – as well as sheep, NWT employs eager volunteers: rabbits
  • Pensthorpe Natural Park

    WebsiteSatellite View
    The Pensthorpe of today was created by a visionary conservationist, Bill Makins, who designed a truly sustainable gravel extraction process that formed one of the most biodiverse nature reserves in England. The then 200-acre reserve and its associated habitats were created as an integral part of this huge undertaking, which saw over one million tonnes of gravel extracted.
  • RSPB Berney Marshes & Breydon Water

    WebpageSatellite View
    Experience the spectacle of the tens of thousands of wintering ducks, geese and swans that visit the estuary and surrounding grazing marshes. In spring, the marshes are filled with the atmospheric calls of lapwings and redshanks, all breeding on one of the UK's largest expanses of wet grassland. Access is along public footpaths. To book winter boat trips call 01603 715191.
  • RSPB Buckenham Marshes

    WebpageSatellite View
    Buckenham Marshes is a traditionally managed grazing marsh with large numbers of breeding wading birds, and ducks and geese in winter. The reserve also often boasts the only regular winter flock of bean geese in England (November to February), together with white-fronted geese and up to 10,000 wigeons. Read more at
  • RSPB Lakenheath Fen

    WebpageSatellite View
    Once a stretch of farmland, this wetland reserve is now a rich mix of reedbeds, marshes and woodlands where Kingfishers and Otters thrive.
  • RSPB Ouse Washes

    WebpageSatellite View
    The largest washland in the UK, Ouse Washes is mysterious and charming. In summer, enjoy a hazy walk by the river, while winter submerges the fields in floodwater, attracting thousands of birds.
  • RSPB Rockland Marshes

    WebpageSatellite View
    Barn Owls hunting silently, and the vivid flash of a Kingfisher. Rockland Marshes may be small, but there's plenty to discover.
  • RSPB Snettisham

    WebpageSatellite View
    This is the place to witness two of the UK's great wildlife spectacles. On big tides, as water covers the vast mudflats of The Wash, tens of thousands of wading birds are pushed off their feeding grounds and onto the roost banks and islands in front of the RSPB hides.
  • RSPB Strumpshaw Fen

    WebpageSatellite View
    This reserve has the full range of broadland habitats and wildlife. Walk round the reedbeds, woodlands and orchid-rich meadows and you could chance upon marsh harriers, bitterns and kingfishers. Come in spring and summer when the meadows bloom with flowers, and see an array of dragonflies and butterflies, including the spectacular swallowtail. Read more at
  • RSPB Surlingham Church Marsh

    WebpageSatellite View
    From Norwich, take the A146 towards Lowestoft. After crossing the A47, just before the road becomes a single carriageway, take the road to the left signposted Bramerton, Surlingham and Rockland. Continue through Kirby Bedon, and at the Bramerton triangle take a left to Surlingham. If you end up in Bramerton, you have gone too far. Upon entering Surlingham, the reserve is off of Church Road, a left hand turn just as you begin seeing houses and paddocks (before the main part of the village). Park outside the church, but be aware of Church traffic on a Sunday and gun club users on a Sunday or Thursday.
  • RSPB Titchwell Marsh

    WebpageSatellite View
    This popular reserve on the north Norfolk coast has something for everyone. A walk from the visitor centre down to the sandy beach takes you past reedbeds and shallow lagoons, which are often full of birds. You can sit on benches or watch from spacious, wheelchair-accessible hides. Read more at
  • WWT Reserve Welney

    WebpageSatellite View
    In winter, enjoy the magic of hundreds of Whooper and Bewick's Swans accompanied by flocks of thousands of ducks. During the day, carpets of Wigeon graze this precious wetland, while flocks of Pintail, Teal, Gadwall and Shoveler dabble in the ponds and lagoons.
Sightings, News & Forums
  • Birding in Norfolk - rare and scarce birds

    Facebook Page
    Birding news and information relating to sighting of SCARCE and RARE BIRDS in Norfolk.

    Birds and birding in North East Norfolk, sociable informative bird club covering Melton, Briston, Aylsham, Holt, Cromer, Sheringham and North Walsham.
  • NarVOS

    View notable sightings from the last 28 days, updated daily
  • Norfolk County Rare Bird Alert

    eBird Sightings
    The report below shows observations of rare birds in Norfolk County. Includes both unreviewed and reviewed/approved observations.
  • NorfolkBirds

    Sightings and bird news
  • Norfolkbirdnews

    Twitter Group
    Mailing List – Discussion Group - Sightings
Guides & Tour Operators

    Birding Ecotours

    Tour Operator
    Norfolk is regarded as one of the premier birdwatching locations in the United Kingdom (UK). Its variety of habitats and high number of species make it a must-visit for birders from other parts of the UK and abroad, find out why below.
  • Bird ID Company

    Tour Operator
    Our daily tours are all based along the beautiful and unspoilt North Norfolk coast, which has some of the best bird watching in Britain. Many of the sites are well known for these beauty and birds, particularly our three most popular tours, Cley, Titchwell and Holme.
  • Breydon Water Cruises - Waveney Stardust

    Tour Operator
    Waveney Stardust, a modern, comfortable, centrally heated cruiser with wheelchair access and full disabled toilet facility
  • Oriole Birding

    Tour Operator
    A UK-based company specialising in bird watching tours of Norfolk and Wales, and a wide range of other UK destinations, a comprehensive programme of tours worldwide. Neil Donaghy and Ashley Saunders have over nineteen years experience between them, running their own companies Celtic Bird Tours and Oriole Adventures, before merging the two to create this new venture which offers complete bird tour packages. Value for money, genuinely small groups and great birds.
  • Swallow Birding

    Tour Operator
    Swallow Birding is a Birdwatching and Wildlife holiday company based near The Saltmarsh Coast in East Anglia. Established in 2006 SWALLOW BIRDING is a joint venture between Annette Adams and Steve Grimwade who over the last 10 years have shared their love of wildlife with many people on tours and day trips.
Trip Reports
  • 2017 [03 March] - Christopher Hall

    ...Arriving at Welney in pouring rain, we spend a fruitful lunchtime accumulating a list of 30 species from the café windows, including Little Egret, Pintail, Ruff, Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Avocet, Oystercatcher, loads of Wigeon and Lapwings and several Reed Buntings on the feeders, as well as a group of six Roe Deer. Once the rain stops we cross the Hundred Foot Drain to the hides overlooking the Hundred Foot Washes, where we add birds like Whooper Swan, Egyptian Goose, Goldeneye, Stock Dove and Skylark, making an impressive list for a travelling day of 49 species seen...
  • 2019 [05 May] - Toby Collett

    PDF Report
    ...A distant Hobby was the first of eight we saw that day and we bumped into several groups taking part in the BTO Young Birders camp who told us about a very showy Bittern. With the hide full we had to scan from the boardwalk but with a bit of patience and some VERY specific directions, talking about individual reeds, the group got onto the bird. It was only a stone’s throw away, but the camouflage was amazing...
  • 2021 [07 July] - Chris Lotz - 1-Day Norfolk Summer Birding Tour

    This was an awesome 1-day Norfolk birding day tour for Tamrynne and Ryan who were visiting Norfolk from London for the weekend and wanted a day of guided birding. We spent most of the day at Hickling Broad Nature Reserve, then we headed to Strumpshaw Fen Reserve only 20 minutes’ drive from Norwich, for the last couple of hours of the day. Some highlights of the day were beautiful Common Reed Buntings along with more elusive species such as Eurasian Treecreeper, Common Kingfisher, Eurasian Spoonbills, Bearded Reedlings that actually perched near us and gave decent views, although unfortunately only the duller females! We also thoroughly enjoyed all the water-associated birds at Brendan’s Marsh, including a pair of Black-winged Stilts that have set up shop here at Hickling Broad, quite a delight as they are rare in Britain (e-bird also marks them as a sensitive species, being rare breeders here).
  • 2022 [10 October] - Chris Mills - 3 day Ladies Tour

    We started the tour on the East Bank at Cley, where the Long-billed Dowitcher was still present, showing very well, we had a great scope views! There’s some nice video of the Dowitcher here with a whole load of Pink-footed Geese audible in the background! There was lots of waders along the Serpentine and Arnold’s Marsh, but before we reached there we had stunning views of Bearded Tits feeding atop of the reeds.
  • 2023 [02 February] - Chris Mills - 3 Day Winter Birding Tour

    We started the day with a walk out at Blakeney harbour and were greeted by a nice flock of Dark-bellied Brent Geese, also on the walk out plenty of Wigeon, Teal, 2-3 Marsh Harriers quartered the marsh. Out by the pools where the Twite have becoming to drink, our vigil of around 45 minutes was unfortunately a no show! But plenty else to keep as occupied as scanning the harbour produced lots of shorebirds including, Black & Bar-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Golden Plover, Redshank, Turnstone and nice groups of Curlew. There were also quite a few Meadow and Rock pipits plus Skylarks, Linnets and Goldfinches.
  • 2024 [01 January] - Winter Weekender in Norfolk

    PDF Report
    Highlights Hawfinch, Crossbill, Bullfinch, Brambling, Siskin, Lesser Redpoll, Yellowhammer, Greenfinch, Twite, Fieldfare, Redwing, Jay, Woodlark, Marsh Tit, Coal Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Nuthatch, Pink-footed Goose, Barnacle Goose, Common Scoter, Velvet Scoter, Red-throated Diver, Tawny Owl, Marsh Harrier & Red Kite,
Places to Stay
  • Andover House - Great Yarmouth

    A stone's throw from the beach, Andover House is an upmarket hotel exclusively for adults with access to 4 miles of tidal foreshore and the salt marshes superb for bird-life and bird-watching
  • Beachscape Contemporary Holiday Home - Bacton

    Beachscape is on the North Norfolk coast, based in a peaceful holiday park, in a small village called Bacton with views overlooking the sea. There is direct access to the beach just yards away and miles of coastline on your doorstep to walk. The park is pet friendly with 13 acres of grassland
  • Deepdale Backpackers Hostel

    Deepdale is an award-winning, eco-friendly Campsite and Private Rooms situated on the organic Deepdale Farm, in the village of Burnham Deepdale on the beautiful North Norfolk Coast.
  • Fieldview Guest House - East Barsham

    West Barsham Road, East Barsham, North Norfolk, NR21 0AR, UK Tel./fax +44 (01328) 820083 Fieldview is the place for you if you like comfortable accommodation, with a friendly welcome in quiet location off the beaten track, we are open all year around except for the Christmas holidays
  • Globe Inn - Wells-next-the-Sea

    We are excited to share that we are now a part of The Globe Inn, Wells-Next-The-Sea and will be known as Arch House Rooms. The Globe Inn is a recently refurbished popular pub, located on The Buttlands, a short 5 minute walk from our front door. Breakfast will now be served at The Globe Inn for all guests staying with us.
  • Heacham Manor

    We welcome all ‘birders’ whether they be ‘twitchers’, in their camouflage jackets loaded with the latest gear in pursuit of rarities, or more relaxed birdwatchers in walking boots and muted colours who are happy to see any of Norfolk’s special and everyday birds. We are perfectly placed for the spectacle of tens of thousands of waders at Snettisham or the variety of herons that roost at Holme. Along Norfolk’s north coast there is plenty to see any time of the year. We hope you chose our Norfolk hotel near to these great birdwatching reserves as your holiday base...
  • Lavender Cottages

    Sea Lavender Cottage Burnham Market, Burnham Market & surrounding villages
  • Le Strange Arms Hotel - Old Hunstanton

    Situated in the village of Old Hunstanton, overlooking the sea. Standing on the east coast of England it faces west across the Wash. The hotel grounds run down to one of the best sandy beaches in an area of many lovely beaches.
  • Moonriver - Martham, Norfolk Broads

    Free fishing from garden, sleeps 4/6, fully refurbished, double shower, flush toilet, TV, video, car parking, sand dune beach on horizon, bird watching, sailing, walking, water sports, rural setting in National Park.
  • Oaktree Cottage - Briston

    Oaktree Cottage is a 200-year-old brick and flint cottage providing quality self-catering holiday accommodation in the heart of the North Norfolk countryside, with easy access to coastal villages, beaches, and wildlife
  • Pheasant Hotel - Kelling Nr Holt

    The Pheasant Hotel is situated in 2 acres of landscaped gardens, set back off the main coast road between the harbour village of Blakeney and the seaside town of Sheringham…
  • Rose & Crown

    We are a splendid old pub with 11 bedrooms, serving excellent food and beer, and are just down the road from the RSPB reserve at Snettisham. We frequently have bird watchers to stay and the RSPB bring groups to breakfast with us after early morning bird watching sessions.
  • The King William IV - Sedgeford

    Welcome to The King William IV Country Inn & Restaurant. Tucked away in the village of Sedgeford amid rolling countryside and conveniently close to the Peddars Way and Norfolk's beautiful coastline, lies this friendly family run traditional Country Inn
Other Links
  • Birdwatching in Norfolk

    Norfolk may well be the bird watching capital of Britain. It certainly has Premier League status nature reserves – just the names of Titchwell, Cley, Holkham, Blakeney, Snettisham and Welney make birdwatchers weak at the knees.
  • Hawk & Owl Trust

    Owls drifting across a misty meadow at dusk is a magical thing to watch. Spectacular Peregrines are returning to our skies and even finding our towns and cities good places to build their nests. Ospreys once more haunt northerly waterbodies and Marsh Harriers are thriving again in eastern and western marshes.
  • Norfolk Wildlife Centre & Country Park

    Tour the 30 acre landscaped site and look out for Wallabies, European Lynx, Barbary Apes, Otters, Iguanas, Snakes, Tortoises and birds of all sizes and colours and many more Wild Animals; all in near natural conditions.
  • North West Norfolk Stonechats

    Welcome to the website of the North West Norfolk Stonechats project – a colour ringing and species monitoring study based at Dersingham Bog National Nature Reserve.
  • The Birds of Norfolk

    Whether its booming bitterns or sky-dancing marsh harriers over the reedbeds of the north coast, wildfowl and waders wheeling over the immense mudflats of The Wash or the haunting calls of roosting cranes in the Broads, Norfolk can deliver a truly memorable wildlife experience all year round. The county boasts a list of over 420 species, including some very rare resident species, breeding and winter visitors, passage migrants and many vagrants. It is one of the few counties in Britain where it is possible to see in excess of 100 bird species on any given day without too much effort. So it
  • The Norfolk Cranes' Story

    This new book - published in July 2011 - tells the story of how cranes bred at Horsey in Norfolk, and how they were protected and studied there
  • Alan & Brenda Fossey - Birding Paradigms

    BLOG & Photos from a Kent & a Norfolk birder….
  • Barry Madden - Wingsearch Birding BLOG

    I live in Norfolk, UK; I've always lived here and will undoubtedly do so until this ageing body of mine decides it's had enough. Nature is my passion and has been since a very young age. I enjoy writing as well, so what better way than to marry the two together in the form of a wildlife blog. hope you like it.
  • David Bryant - Birds of the Heath

    What’s going on around the Yare valley.
  • James Emerson - Birds and Beer

    I am a Norwich-based naturalist, with a particular interest in birds, larger insects and fungi. I can frequently be found at my local patch, Whitlingham C.P.
  • Jim Swalwell - Lost Geordie Birding

    Blog of birder based in Norfolk…
  • Jim's Birding Blog

  • Mike Lawrence - Back In Birdland

    A diary of my wildlife encounters. By Mike Lawrence, Trimingham, Norfolk
  • Sean Locke - The Autistic Naturalist

    Welcome to my blog. My name is Sean Locke from Norwich and I am autistic. But this does not stop my passion for nature and wildlife. I am a volunteer for RSPB Strumpshaw Fen and I also help out at Mousehold Heath with surveys and I birdwatch whenever I can. Since 2011, i have been writing a wildlife diary filled with my adventures, drawings and photos. Now i have decided to go online to share with you all.
Photographers & Artists
  • Artist - James McCallum

    James McCallum is a wildlife artist living and working in North Norfolk. He is best known for his watercolour paintings and sketches of natural history, particularly birds, made outdoors from life at the time of watching
  • Artist - Keith Nash

    Whilst born in the South of England, Keith Nash’s career in environmental engineering brought him and his wife to Norfolk in 1975, where they settled in the village of Little Dunham near Swaffham. The big skies and changing colours and light of the seasons soon led to a fascination with the Norfolk landscape and coastal marshes, which are famous for their wildfowl sanctuaries…
  • Photographer - Kevin Elsby - Wildlife on the Web

    A site dedicated to showing images of nature from around the world. Birds, Mammals, Insects, Plants are all covered..
  • Photographer - Steve Gantlett - Cley Birds

    Welcome to this photo gallery site for Cley, Norfolk and beyond…
  • Sculptor - Richard T Roberts

    Brilliant styalised sculptures from the norfolk-based artist

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